Karlijn Sibbel

Product design

Project

Industry by Nature / Algae

building bio-inspired micro production

We are increasingly searching for production processes  and materials that don’t result in resource depletion and surplus waste. This search leads us to use natural resources which possesses fascinating properties such as growth. In my project ‘Industry by Nature’ I’m conducting research into how the growth of these resources can be manipulated to induce them to adopt certain shapes. In collaboration with bio-process engineers from AlgaePARC Wageningen University, I’m studying the possibilities of growing algae in tube-shaped moulds, among other shapes, by regulating the growth.

Rotomoulding Algae

Algae need light, CO2, water and nutrition. As these elements influence the growth of algae, by regulating them, I’m able to manipulate this growth.

My research combines the idea of using algae as a material with the possibility of manipulating its growth, using a derivative technique from rotomoulding. Where I use algae as an alternative to plastic, as the elements that influence its growth – instead of heat – are used to induce the material to adopt certain shapes. In addition to researching this technique I’m also testing and developing the algae material itself.

Industry by Nature / Salt

building bio-inspired micro production

We are increasingly searching for production processes  and materials that don’t result in resource depletion and surplus waste. This search leads us to use natural resources which possesses fascinating properties such as growth. In my project ‘Industry by Nature’ I’m conducting research into how the growth of these resources can be manipulated to induce them to adopt certain shapes. In collaboration with my old chemistry teacher from Montessori College Arnhem (the Netherlands), I have been looking into the idea of growing salt crystals into 3-dimensional shapes through regulated growth. I would like to give you some insight into this research process and this fusion of science and design.
 

Over

"As a creative researcher and designer I’m fascinated by the growing overlap and opportunities for collaboration between scientists and designers. As a designer, I’m able to experiment freely and beyond the traditional methods of scientific research; this provides me with a fresh perspective and allows me to combine different approaches. These collaborations provide an excellent opportunity to re-examine materials and techniques and see them in a new light.

A curiosity towards materials lies at the heart of my work. It is this curiosity that inspires me to research the characteristics of a material and to discover how its features may be transformed and used to develop new materials and production processes.

That is why I’m constantly exploring the potentials that arise from the material characteristics of natural resources. My research project ‘Industry by Nature’ is a key example: it consists of manipulating the growth of two natural resources, algae and salt, to induce them to adopt certain shapes. Another example is my project ‘3D printing salt’, were I use the properties of salt to develop new production processes for ceramics, among other materials.

Seeking connections between science and design is my passion, therefore collaborations and researching processes are essential in my work. Composing my workspace and my research tools is part of my projects."

Karlijn Sibbel